COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. PICTURES/COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. PICTURE
Sandra Bullock’s film ‘Gravity’ garnered the most BAFTA nominations with recognition in 11 categories.
Space thriller "Gravity" won 11 BAFTA nominations on Wednesday, putting it just ahead of the pack at Britain's top film honors, while "12 Years a Slave" and "American Hustle" were in the running in 10 categories.
"Gravity", starring Oscar winners Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, was shortlisted in categories including best film, best actress, best director for Alfonso Cuaron, best sound and visual effects, and outstanding British film.
The nomination for top British film gave "Gravity" the edge over U.S. rivals in a highly competitive year in which the unflinching slavery drama, "12 Years a Slave", from British director Steve McQueen, is topping many U.S. award lists.
That film is heading the nominations across the Atlantic for the January 12 Golden Globe awards and is a favorite for the Oscars on March 2. Its British lead actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor, is also nominated for the BAFTA best actor prize.
Ejiofor, 36, gained recognition as the lead in the 2002 dark crime thriller "Dirty Pretty Things" but his role in "12 Years a Slave" as a free man kidnapped and sold into slavery has thrust him into the limelight, winning him a list of award nominations.
"I continue to be immensely proud of the recognition this film is getting around the world. There is, of course, something particularly special about receiving a BAFTA nomination from home," Ejiofor said in a statement.
Chiwetel Ejiofor (R) is poised to sweep awards season with several Best Actor nominations for his role in ‘12 Years a Slave.’
Other films competing for the BAFTA best film award are 1970s con-men caper "American Hustle", Somali pirate thriller "Captain Phillips", and the heart-tugging adoption drama "Philomena".
Of these five films vying for the top prize, all but "Philomena" are also competing for the best director award with Cuaron running alongside McQueen, David O. Russell for "American Hustle" and Paul Greengrass for "Captain Phillips". The fifth in this field was Hollywood veteran Martin Scorsese for his tale of American greed "The Wolf of Wall Street".
Vying for the best actor prize are Christian Bale in "American Hustle", Bruce Dern in "Nebraska", Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Wolf of Wall Street" and Tom Hanks in "Captain Phillips".
Veteran British star Judi Dench was one of five women competing for the best actress award. The biggest surprise in that category was that Amy Adams was nominated for "American Hustle" but Meryl Streep was overlooked for "August: Osage County".
The two others vying for best actress are Emma Thompson in "Saving Mr. Banks" and Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen's tragic comedy "Blue Jasmine".
The BAFTAs have had a patchy record in predicting which films go on to scoop the biggest movie honors, the Oscars, although the main winners in London in the past two years, "The Artist" and "Argo", stormed to best picture victory at the Academy Awards.
The awards ceremony for the BAFTAs, formally called the EE British Academy Film Awards, takes place in London on February 16.
The Britannia Awards are BAFTA Los Angeles’ highest accolade, a celebration of achievements honoring individuals and companies that have dedicated their careers to advancing the entertainment arts.
The 2013 Awards show took place at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, on Saturday November 09. The evening was a star-studded affair which an impressive array of film and television talent an attendance. Celebrity guests included the likes of Julia Roberts, Sigourney Weaver and Salma Hayek as well as the honorees themselves.
Honorees in 2013
The 2013 Britannia Awards celebrated six extraordinary international talents.
BAFTA LA/ Kevin Winter
George Clooney Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film